Posted by Ian
We always try to bring you the most important news stories of the day as quickly as we can. But there have been a few instances recently where we’ve had to think twice.
We know, from a few emails and pieces of feedback left on the site, that some people take objection to us revealing news to do with, for want of a better word, outcomes.
That is, the results of games, competitions and events. The winner of The Apprentice, for instance. The champion of the latest Formula One race. The name/s of the latest contestant to be removed from Big Brother. And so on. People object to us spoiling their fun, or ruining the surprise.
Does this really matter? We’ve had discussions (and disagreements) about it a few times. The nub of the thing seems to be whether we ought to treat the homepage like a 24-hour news website, where any and every bit of information needs to be published as soon as possible, or whether we should be more discerning.
A lot of people don’t come to MSN primarily for the day’s news. They come because msn.co.uk is the default homepage on their computer, or because they want to check their Hotmail or use Messenger. We’re not like, say, the BBC news website, which has a self-evident purpose and an obvious audience. The homepage is a gateway to somewhere else, not strictly a destination in its own right.
Saying that, if we never revealed anything about anything (‘Click Here For Result Of General Election!’) we’d be cutting off our collective noses to spite our face. And we’d be a laughing stock.
Where, then, should the line be drawn? I think we can, at times, be too accommodating to the demands of the few. Others take a different view.
But would you rather we hadn’t announced, say, the winner of the Wimbledon’s men’s singles title until this morning?